Tuesday, 8 April 2008

Things that go bump in the night!

This morning I woke up to the thinning darkness of night. I'd heard lions roar somewhere far away, around four. Outside was cool with the smell of rain.
I am in Africa. Say the word out loud "Africa", feel it.
Around five thirty, I stop at the Moolman's house to switch on some equipment. The baboons are making a racket, getting down from the trees above. I notice the gate, open, at a peculiar angle. The gate tells me that one of my favourite creatures have been here ... is maybe still here! I don't hear him, can't feel him, but the leaves he ate are there, the impressions of his feet on the rain wet soil. It's still dark, the grey whisper of day now not that far away.
I walk through the garden, hoping I might see him, but he's gone ... maybe we'll meet him on the game drive later, maybe you'll meet him.
Loxodonta Africana, each elephant an individual, same as you and I are human. When next you see one, please don't just see a bulky beast, a wild animal. Look at the beauty in their movement, the fun in their play. See their tender touch, the mother and her young calf, the wandering bull. Sense their calm, intuit their intelligence and feel their fierce and massive power.
If you can, look into their eyes, it is all there. Look with an open heart, allow yourself to let them look back into you. Elephants are alive, right now, at this moment, the same as you or me.
Soon I will be in Damaraland. One of my favourite places on earth. The northwestern rock desserts of Namibia, remote, wild and breathtakingly beautiful. A place where magic is still truly alive, reality as fragile and powerful as myth.
I will disappear there, along with springbuck and oryx, black rhino, cheetah and lion.
I will breathe the desert and listen to it's endless quiet thunder in my heart. I will see more sunsets than humans, and, if I'm lucky, I will see elephant. Desert elephants!
I will be alive in my own dream, and will tell you if I saw them when I get back.
Enjoy the wildlife, the passion and WildEarth!

Written by Pieter Pretorius


Anonymous said...

Seems like Jan isn't the only one with a talent for writing.
What a beautiful description of your experience and life in Africa.
Thank you Pieter and enjoy Namibia.
We look forward to your return.

Claire-M. from Maple syrup land said...

Oh! Pieter!

My heart is wildly thumping here after reading your post. Emotion at its best. Moving moment on a beautiful sunny afternoon here.

When dreaming in your Damaraland Paradise, send your dreams in the cosmos ... we could catch them perhaps!!!

Just be happy and enjoy yourself that's the best I can wish you.

I'm also leaving on a long time dreamed adventure "First leg of my Zoo gorilla trek". I'll be on the road for about one month and will try to communicate with every gorilla I'll meet with a glass between us and also almost face to face, etc.

Your favorite word is "favorite", mine is "etc." ...

Gorilla hugs!

aka Clic2007

Stacy said...

Your words sound like an amazing dream to me. You have an excellent way with words Pieter. I hope to see you post a lot more on the blog as I enjoy reading your thoughts. Your photos and experiences are amazing, thank you for sharing.

Have a wonderful time while you are away in Damaraland...good luck in finding your desert elephants. Take many photos to share with us when you get back. Take care.


Ontario Canada

Anonymous said...

Pieter, your writings touch my heart. How fortunate you are to experience what we only dream about. Thank you for bringing us into your world both by the game drive, your pictures and your blog.

Anonymous said...

Good Afternoon....It is 1:30 EST here in Maine, USA.

we are just starting to see the warmth of Spring here in Maine as it is 50 degrees today, one of the warmest we have had this year.

I must tell you, I stumbled onto this site about a week ago and I cannot stay away from it. What an education one can get from watching and listening to you, Pieta, on your journeys looking for the beautiful wildlife there. I find myself staying up until midnight so that I can see the beautiful sunrises that you share with us in the mornings.

Your blogs are great and I shall continue to visit them and tell my friends about this site.

Thank you for all you do to help us understand and love the animals.

Ms. Starfire

Anonymous said...

The talents of the WE crew knows no bounds. I've always enjoyed the writings of Jan, really liked it when Sue wrote about the lion sighting, and now Pieter has written two great blogs. Beautifully written, Pieter, please keep it up. The photos were amazing.
Thanks to you all for everything you do for us.
Folsom, CA, U.S.A.

Anonymous said...

Wow...wonderful writing. I felt like I was there with you. Pieter, you have a passion for Africa, especially the ellies, and it resonates through you to us, thousands of miles away. Enjoy your time away and I hope you see some desert elephants. "I will be alive in my own dream"....I really like that... :)

Shiloh ~~ Myafrica-site

Susan R said...

Another facet of Pieter's gifts, the gift of putting pen to paper. I am in awe of his photography skills, his passion for the earth and animals he surrounds himself with...now another talent he shares with us. I am in awe of Pieter, and thank God that I stumbled upon this web site - WildEarth.

With sincere thanks Pieter and a special wish for your dreams to come true. Enjoy your time away.


Anonymous said...

Pieter, may your time away in Damaraland bring you as much joy as your presentations bring to us, your viewers. Thank you for sharing your inspirational view of Africa in this beautiful blog entry and in every one of your drives.


Anonymous said...

Hello Pieter,Just Read Your Story.
Pieter I Have Been Watching The Drive From The Begaining, And If I May Say That I Had No Idea Of All The Things That Goes On In The Bush. The Things That I Have Learn From You In The Last Year.Your Passion For The Bush Has Open My Eyes To A Whole New World. When I see How You Love The Bush And All The Aniamls.Tress, Birds And All The Other Things . I See Them Thought Your Eyes.I See What You See And I Feel What You Feel.
Pieter You May Not Know Me But I Know You Though The Way You Talk About The Bush And All It Has To
Offer .I See The Passion I Hear The Passion In You.The Passion Of THe Bush .You Bring All That To Me And To So Many People From All Over The World That Just Set Back And Watch You.Mow I Know What Is Mean When You Say "It's In Your Nature"When I Read Your Story I Felt Like I Was Right There.When I am On The Drive With You I Feel I Feel Like I Am Right There With You .You Are A Man That Loves What He Does And LOve To Bring Your World To So Many.Pieter Please Keep On Being As Passion As Your Are About The Bush. Because I Know That I will Never Be Able To See Africa For My Self, So I Have To See It Though Your Eyes .Which Is Better Anyway. "It's In Your Nature" Audrey.

Anonymous said...

Beautifully written and wonderful photos.

Pieter - I hope someday in the not-far-distant future you will write a book about your experiences and observations, and your great love of Africa -- with your photos, of course!

Eleanor, NYC

Anonymous said...


These are some of the most moving words I have ever read. Your passion for Africa and all things wild brings tears to my eyes. Enjoy your time in Namibia.

Sharon in Texas

Valorie said...

Wow, what an amazing write-up. Can really feel the passion you have for the bush life.. it really is quite something to read, and watch.

Your words really ignite a yearning within each of us, to be able to experience this in our lifetime. Thanks to each of you who take the time to share this, every day, with us. =)

Anonymous said...


Your words went right to my heart! Have a safe and wonderful trip. My dream one day is to see just a bit of Africa and it's wild life and sunsets. Your Pictures say so much.

Thank you for all your bring to us each and every day.

Anonymous said...

Wow! Reading your blog is almost as good as being on a drive with you.
Our long time dream has been a trip to Alaska, which we leave for in 3 weeks. Now, right behind that, number one on the list, is a trip to Africa to experience first hand some of the beauty, passion and wonder that you describe so eloquently, Pieter and Jan. It is all because of you and the Djuma team that this has come to pass. I pray we can make that dream come true, also.
The only down side is the realization that although we feel we know you so well, you don't KNOW us. Just know that you have, really for sure, inspired so many lives and opened so many eyes to the glories of Africa. It's in your nature.


Hi pieter, its emma here from london , WOW you certainly know how to put your thoughts and emotions into words dont you, we will all miss you but cant wait for your return, please take loads of your fantastic pictures to share with us, esp of the desert ellies, keep up the fantastic work pieter
bye for now

Barbara said...

Pieter - Your passion for Africa comes thru in your words & expressions about everything you share with us - whether it's a sunrise, sunset, flora or fauna - it can bring tears to our eyes and leave us awestruck.

Enjoy your stay in the Namibian desert.

And never stop rambling on about "what is nature!"

BarbaraE - North Carolina

Anonymous said...

Beautifully written!

In spirit, we will celebrate your adventure and all the natural beauty that surrounds you. Whether it be you are away on adventures, or when you host our drives.

I hope you are enjoying Namibia. Wishing you a safe and adventurous return to Djuma. We miss you already.

Ellie trumpets,


BLTLADY said...

What can I say. That was the most moving description of an elephant I have ever read. I too am an elephant lover and the way that you have said that makes them all the more special. Keep up the fantastic job that all of you at WE do and thank you a million times for being there for all of us to watch with you and enjoy.